Making Of A Bottle House

As a child, I love collecting candy wrappers, cardboards, bottle caps, anything I could lay my hands on, and make things out of them. Always I find creative ways to upcycle things. Reusing and repurposing items whenever possible was my passion.

The artwork I made in those childhood years were photo frames, lamps, maps and collages from waste plastic. I was working with plastic then on to create functional objects. First as a child and then as a grown up, I was doing my bit to tackle environmental issues by transforming plastics into quirky artwork.

Some years ago, I went to one of my friend’s marriage where I see hundreds of plastic bottles spread all around. Without thinking what and how to do, I asked them and collected it all.

At that time, I was working as a pedagogist in an alternative education Centre. The campus is in a coastal village of Odisha. Most of the learner studying there are from fisherman family. So they know the problem their parents are facing and how the sea life is getting more polluted day by day. But they are unaware about the solution. I wanted to let them know a way out but didn't tell them directly.

I never instruct them to do anything, as I believe ‘the children should have the right to do and learn things what they want, when they want and how they want’.

When the children of the education centre see those bottles with me, they started talking about what to be done. I didn’t discourage them. Because I know if I will say their idea won’t work, they will feel low and will fear to try new things later in their life. So I always prefer to do what they suggested and discussed. Allowing them to explore the problem themselves open thousands ways of learning.

At first we planned to do a dome house which will be part of our evolution museum. But later felt that it won’t be the right place as the museum space is limited. Later we tried to make a peacock using it. But for lack of time and technical resources it wasn’t possible. Then children took a break as the annual function gets closer. At that time children were busy practising their cultural activities and physical demonstrations.

It was winter then...
The time for annual function of the centre...
Everyone is busy in decorating campus....
I started mine....

My brother Kuni, cousin Dipu and some old student of the centre helped me.

I tried to do something which will have some use in the annual function. And it should be made from the available resources. The idea of reception counter came to my mind. So many attempts were made. Lastly we made it possible using some waste rope, bamboo and bottle.

In the first attempt, we used aluminum string, bottle, thread & gum gun and in the second attempt I tried to use the discarded iron pipe and plastic joints of my folding cupboards. It was a good idea but even after using the material of 2 cupboards we were lacking things for a house. Also as we were doing the work in 3rd floor, it was difficult to shift the finshed work to the ground. At last we made it in the ground in a fix frame.

The bottle house was used as the reception counter. Visitors made it a selfie point. So many were inspired and started collecting plastic after that. Children were so inspired that they didn't even waste a small piece of candy wrappers there on. They made thousands of dolls out of it and gifted me.

The bottle house was there for so many months. Children loved to play in it. They use it as their doll house, store room, performance room and many more. Later I reuse those bottles as the hanging roof of a tree house with the help of children in the campus park. This time children worked with me and made bottle garlands.

In the meantime some inspired teenagers made a boat using bamboo and waste 5kg coconut bottles. After completing the boat they call me for testing it in the campus pond. I was surprised and happy. Without informing other teacher, I helped them testing it in the small pond. Later, during another project everyone sat on the boat and roam around in a village pond.

Both my aim and work were a hit.

About Mitra Craft

Mitra Craft brings you a world of unique, traditional, indigenous and handmade treasures from the interiors of "Odisha: The Heritage Land".
It's not just a product you are buying here. Along with the product you are bringing "Love of our craftsman" who made it, "Blessing of Craftsman's Family" who are going to get benefitted of it and all the "Positive Vibes of Mitra" to your home.
Mitra Craft aims to strengthen the unique cultural heritage of our tribal, rural and women artisans.

"Buy with LOVE to make them LIVE."

"Each craft you buy helps us to adopt a craftsman family, thus helping in preserving and reviving a traditional craft. All the profit from this will be utilized for the betterment of Craftsman."